SX8570 OLD TOTNES ROAD
1012-1/10/100 (East side)
16/07/49 Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin
(Formerly Listed as:
OLD TOTNES ROAD
Parish Church of St Mary)
Parish church. C15, with earlier west tower; south aisle and
MATERIALS: squared Devon limestone rubble, slate roofs with
PLAN: rectangular aisled plan, 5-bay nave extending to the
chancel and sanctuary; transeptal chapels to east end of nave;
projecting west tower with a low C20 block attached to the
north, and projecting south porch.
EXTERIOR: the coped parapets to the gables at each end of the
aisles and to the sanctuary have moulded kneelers and pierced
crosses to the apexes. Some of the windows to the aisles have
granite mullions below white freestone tracery. The
fenestration is mostly C15 Perpendicular, except the windows
to transeptal chapels of c1710 which have tall 4-light
The C15 Perpendicular five-light east window has cusped ogee
heads to the main lights, the shallow-pointed 4-light east
windows to the parcloses have C15 panel tracery.
North side of the sanctuary is plain with blocked window, the
aisles have mainly 4-light panel-traceried windows with traces
of mask stops.
2-stage west tower has moulded string courses over each stage,
a battlemented parapet, paired belfry louvres to each side
which share a rubblestone relieving arch and a 3-light west
window with mask stops to the hoodmould over a red gritstone
pointed arch to C20 double doors.
The gabled south porch (restored 1885 in memory of Thomas
Mackrell) to the centre of the south side has a low, almost
round arch of gritstone with moulded stops at plinth level and
Above the porch is a C16 flat-arched window with ogee heads to
4 lights below paired quatrefoils.
To the east end is a label mould over a restored Tudor-arched
door, above is a C16 tall flat-arched 4-light window with sunk
spandrels and head stops to the label mould.
Against the south side of the sanctuary is a C19 single-storey
block with a 3-light leaded window.
INTERIOR: 6 pointed arches springing from slender Pevsner B
columns with polygonal concave main shafts, have intricate
carved capitals characteristic of C15 Devon depicting vine,
oak and other foliage with various creatures such as a boar
eating acorns, birds pecking berries, an owl, slugs and
Traces of a former roof-line in the unplastered rubblestone
west wall indicate that the ceiling has been raised. The
present planked barrel-vaulted ceiling, substantially restored
late C19, continuing to the chancel, has mask, flower and leaf
bosses to 15 rows of panelling. The wall plate to the chancel
is brattished with similar bosses. To the west end of the nave
is a high rubblestone arch to the tower which has a stone
newel stair to the south-west corner. To the west end of the
nave is a high rubblestone arch to the tower which has a stone
newel stair to the south-west corner. C19 polychromatic tiles
to the chancel floor.
FITTINGS: c1518 ornate and elaborately-painted wooden
screen (formerly with a rood screen above) spans the east end,
and extends forward to enclose the parcloses, with painted
figures to wainscotting and Perpendicular panel tracery above:
coving missing, some "especially fine" (Pevsner) carving to
the cornice. Norman font of red gritstone with cable and
chevron moulding, a rare and notable example of a medieval
Gothic brass eagle lectern said to have been hidden in Lang's
Copse near Bradley Manor, Old Totnes Road (qv) during the
Commonwealth, reredos of 1902 depicting the Annunciation, a
late C14 bell probably by John Bird of London and a 1914-1918
war memorial pulpit carved by Herbert Read. Beneath the pulpit
is a large fragment of a bomb dropped on the churchyard on 4th
MONUMENTS: include canopied table tomb to William Balcall,
c1516. Monument to Sir Richard Reynell (of Forde House,
Torquay Road (qv)), 1634, with 2 alabaster supine figures, to
the front of the tomb is a smaller female figure lying
sideways, and to the base is supine baby. The semicircular
marble overthrow, supported by marble columns with gilded
Corinthian capitals, has cherubs and a crest high above an
inscription panel in cartouche.
Memorial slabs in the floors of the aisles, of stone and
slate, are C17 and C18.
STAINED GLASS: some fragments of mediaeval glass have been
repositioned in the south-west corner, some C19 glass is by
Kempe (with a wheatsheaf signature) including a fine
Evangelists scene of 1890.
(BoE: Pevsner N & Cherry B: Devon: London: 1989-: 586; Gill,
Mr and Mrs M: A History of The Parish Church of St Mary the
Virgin, Wolborough: Newton Abbot).
Listing NGR: SX8549270375